By Rupak de Chowdhuri

It’s festive time in Kolkata, with the Durga festival celebrated across the city, before Diwali celebrations fill the city with light. Kolkata has been called the “City of Joy,” a title which was immortalized in a book by Dominique Lapierre. It tells the story of the poorest of the poor who still somehow find hope and joy in life. Little did I know I was about to come face-to-face with such a story.

I hunt for pictures every day. One day, I was looking for pictures when an old friend told me to go to a place where I was guaranteed to find a good story. Because of my curious nature, I started to walk in search of the story I’d been told about in the middle of Kolkata. I started searching among the food stalls because I wouldn’t believe it until I saw them myself.

At last I found them. And I stood stunned, like other customers in front of the food stall. I watched for half an hour.

The next day I came back and started talking to other people at the food stall. The other workers said they were a happy family once. They lived nearby for forty years. A few years ago, they moved to a village about 45 minutes away by train. I went home but I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I didn’t sleep at all that night.

Early the next morning, I went to the railway station to wait for them, I knew they came to Kolkata on the same train every day. I waited for a long time and at last I saw them come out of the crowded local train.